There’s no outstepping this flash mob of 45 seniors who stormed Wynyard Quarter on Saturday 25 November with spontaneous dance routines that prove age is no barrier to a bit of fun and exercise. 

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The 45 tail-shaking oldies are all part of an exercise group at their local YMCA. The oldest flash mob participant was 82, and the average age of the group was 70. For two months they rehearsed their routines for Shakira’s “Wherever, Whenever” and crowd favourite “YMCA” by the Village People in preparation for their flash mob.  

YMCA CEO Peter Fergusson said the group is proof of the benefits of staying active as we age.

“Research shows regular exercise builds muscle, improves blood pressure and helps maintain our bone density and flexibility – all vital components to ageing well.”

In November a US study reported light intensity and moderate-to-vigorous activity are associated with lower mortality in women1. In New Zealand the Ministry of Health recommends seniors aim for 30 minutes of moderate activity five days per week, three sessions of strength and flexibility per week and two sessions of muscle strength activity.

But it’s not all about the physical benefits. Most seniors participating in YMCA’s group exercise programmes speak first and foremost of the social benefits.

“Our YMCA seniors’ programmes are also a chance to have a bit of fun and a good giggle every week which helps break down the isolation many of us encounter as we get older,” Fergusson said.

YMCA offers weekly senior exercise programmes for anyone aged over 60. Visit your local YMCA to find out more.

1 Journal of the American Geriatrics Society: